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By Jonathan Balofsky On 16 Jan, 2018 At 05:17 PM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured, Opinion, Television | With 0 Comments

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Ah Star Trek, the wagon train to the stars that has endured since the 60’s. It is a series that brought many firsts for television and movies and broke barriers. However, a realization occurred to me while re-watching episodes recently. That realization is that above everything else, Star Trek is a rejection of everything Lovecraft wrote and believed in.

It is difficult for many to understand now, just how H.P. Lovecraft was. While the racism in his work is still apparent, many don’t realize just how it fuelled his work along with his fears and paranoia’s.  Lovecraft’s work was deeply personal and from a dark place. The monstrous half human hybrids for example, were inspired by his fears of miscegenation, and his great old ones and cosmology in general were inspired by his fear of the unknown. Lovecraft came from an old New England family and was horrified by the changing culture, especially his brief time in New York  when he interacted more with other ethnic groups. His own family problems left him with many psychological issues, such as a fear of intimacy and openness.

But what does this have to do with Star Trek? Very simply, Star Trek rejects each and every aspect of Lovecraft’s work. Racism is attacked, black women are shown in positions of power, and interracial relationships are shown. Different cultures working together is shown as a good thing and even Spock can be seen as another rejection of the monsters of Lovecraft’s work, given that he is half human and half alien. But it is the opening of Star Trek that truly shows the power of idealism vs giving into fear.

Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.

Star Trek is about rising above fear and hate and daring to explore. There is no fear of the unknown but instead a desire to learn more and see what has not been seen. Yes there are dark moments, such as in Deep Space Nine, but with one or two exceptions, the victories achieved are done by rising up above hatred, fear and paranoia. The entities that are above human comprehension are seen differently as well. In the episode ” The Squire of Gothos”, such an entity is shown to be a child ultimately, and then there is Q. Q is an omnipotent entity, yet the Enterprise crew is able to best him more than once, and even learn from him.

There are times that the unknown truly is terrifying, but these are not the norm ( and ultimately that makes these instances stand out better). The message of the show is ultimately a simple one, but one that needs to be heard time and again. If we work together we can grow as people and fear is something that can be overcome. Humanity has potential, and we must work to use it to its fullest and best.

 

 

Disclaimer: The above was the opinion of the author and not necessarily that of Real Otaku gamer or its staff.

By Jonathan Balofsky On 3 Jan, 2018 At 09:29 PM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured, Old School Otaku, Opinion, ROG News, Television | With 1 Comment

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25 years ago, the world of science fiction changed forever. Star Trek was already an established franchise, with Star trek The Next Generation having become a juggernaut in its own right. But January 3 1993 saw the premiere of Star Trek Deep Space Nine, a series that truly helped move the franchise forward. I have so many fond memories of this series, and I do not hesitate at all to call it my favourite of the Trek franchise. I will do my best not to give spoilers so people can experience this for the first time themselves, but I will in some instances.

DS9 stands out above the other Star Trek series by doing something that had not been done before, and that is developing long running character and story arcs. This was possible thanks to the series being set on a space station instead of a ship travelling to different locations, and the recurring elements this enabled ended up creating some of the best storylines.  There is so many great storylines that can be mentioned such as the Dominion War and the rebuilding of Bajor, but for many the best storylines were the ones that delved into showing both character growth and the darker side of Star Trek.

Ferengi culture was explored far beyond what was done on TNG, and so were the Klingons and the Cardassians. This was done thanks to great characters who showed off the different parts of the cultures. The Ferengi gave us Quark, the traditionalist Ferengi, his “failure” brother Rom, who was actually a genius engineer, and Rom’s son Nog who joined Starfleet. The Klingons of course gave us Worf once again, but also Martok. Martok was a traditional Klingon, and one who showed off the best aspects of the culture in contrast to Gowron, who showed the negatives. And the Cardassians? We received two of the most iconic non main cast members in all of Star Trek: Gul Dukat and Elim Garak.

The main cast went through many changes in terms of personality and growth. They were not the same characters at the beginning that they became at the end and the best example was Captain Sisko himself. When he came to the station as Commander Sisko, he was a reluctant appointee and had a lot of hostility in him due to the death of his wife during the Battle of Wolf 359 with the Borg. However, he grew into his many roles and became perhaps the greatest of the captains. Sisko was willing to do things no one else would and realized that if it got the results he needed, then he could live with himself. The infamous episode “In the Pale Moonlight” is often considered either the best or the worst episode in all of Star Trek, due to this.

The aforementioned Dominion War story arc that took up the later seasons also proved to be a triumph of storytelling. There were episodes that truly showed war to be hellish and the consequences to be long lasting, and this mention of darker content wouldn’t do well without mentioning the fact that the series also took a darker look at the Federation. For the first time, we got to see that some consider the Federation to be just as bad as some of the people they fight, albeit these comments tended to come from those who had betrayed the federations.

Characters like Doctorm Bashir, Odo, Chief O’Brien, Major Kira and more showed that this was a series willing to tackle deeper subject matter. Odo faces discrimination t times due to his species and Kira is a former terrorist ( this definitely would have been different if made post 9/11). the infamous O’Brien must suffer episodes are some of the most well known, and Doctor Bashir was forced into situations he wouldn’t have anticipated.

The show was not without humor though and the lighter episodes were extremely welcome. These often involved the Ferengi and did a great job, as a I said before, of expanding them as a people. If I can sum up Deep Space Nine in one word, it would be “growth”. This was a series where the characters grew, but so did Star Trek as a franchise. So Happy 25th anniversary Deep Space Nine, you were amazing!

By Jonathan Balofsky On 8 Sep, 2016 At 09:05 PM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured, ROG News, Television | With 0 Comments

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Sept 8 marks the 50th anniversary of the Star Trek franchise, one of the most important sci-fi series of all time. I have long had an affinity for the franchise, dating back to when I was a child and would watch episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation with my family. Star Trek has always been a part of my life really. When I was in elementary and junior high school, I would come home and watch repeats of Star trek Voyager ( which I can’t watch anymore as I can only see the flaws now) and later got into Deep Space Nine.

I didn’t see the original series until I was 15, when the first episode I saw was the season 2 episode “A Piece of the Action”, the episode where the crew encountered the Iotian people who have based their society on 1920’s gangsters. It was a quirky show and after that I watched episodes like “The Squire of Gothos” which is the one that got me hooked. After that episode, I came to enjoy the original series a lot more and it helped me to truly appreciate the series that came after it. When I first decided to see the movies, I didn’t know what to expect. The first one was just confusing but from The Wrath of Khan onward they were good, yes even the odd numbered ones.

My personal favourite Star Trek series has always been Deep Space Nine. It was the darkest of the franchise but had the most character development. The characters who started the series were not the same at the end ( literally in one case). It showed a captain who was willing to do whatever it took to get the job done, but Captain Sisko was also haunted by his actions. The episode “In The Pale Moonlight” is the greatest episode of the series in my opinion, simply because it showed that war makes everything a shade of grey. It had memorable characters such as Quark, Odo, Major Kira and coming from Star Trek: The Next Generation, Worf. It also had amazing villains such as the Dominion and Gul Dukat. If you haven’t seen the series, then I recommend you check it out as soon as possible.

Star Trek inspired so much in society, from societal progress to technological innovation and influenced the entire genre of science fiction from that point onward. This is the franchise that boldly went, where no one had gone before!

By Jonathan Balofsky On 12 May, 2016 At 08:23 PM | Categorized As News, PC Games, PlayStation, ROG News, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

No GravatarIn an update to our earlier story about Star Trek Online coming to PS4, We can now confirm the Free To Play MMO will come to Xbox One as well.

 

See the full trailer below

 

By Jonathan Balofsky On 12 May, 2016 At 05:38 PM | Categorized As Featured, News, PC Games, PlayStation, ROG News | With 0 Comments

No GravatarThe Free To Play Star Trek MMO will be coming to PS4 this fall. The game has received critical acclaim on PC, with many of the cast of the various shows making appearances. Will you join Starfleet this fall?

Check out the announce trailer below

 

By SarahTheRebel On 23 May, 2013 At 06:10 AM | Categorized As Reviews | With 0 Comments

No GravatarFirst appeared on www.NerdyButFlirty.com

Twenty minutes into Star Trek: Into Darkness, and I knew I wanted to watch this movie again.

I almost hesitated to write this review, wondering if I was extremely biased by my love of Star Trek. This couldn’t possibly be one of the best movies I’ve ever seen; I must just be mistaken. And yet…this movie melted off my little nerdy face.

Could this be one of the best sci-fi movies of our time? Quite possibly. If you love the Star Trek franchise, go see this movie. It’s even better than the reboot. IT’S A SEQUEL THAT’S BETTER THAN THE FIRST. But that’s oddly appropriate, given the history of Star Trek movies.

star-trek-2-into-darkness-poster

Plot

When the crew of the Enterprise returns from a “routine” mission, they find that all is not well at Starfleet, as they are under attack by someone within their own ranks. Kirk sets off on a manhunt into a war-zone to capture the bad guy…and then everything goes to hell in a handbasket.

The story was interesting and shocking in some ways, yet predictable and campy in others. I didn’t mind the camp of the main villain too much, because, after all, this is a movie based on an old franchise. As someone very prone to nostalgia, having villains who are a throwback to a bygone age in movies isn’t as big of a deal to me, although I know it will bother some people.

star-trek-into-darkness-benedict-cumberbatch

Another big issue with the plot is that it is clearly split into different acts, as opposed to feeling like one cohesive whole. On the other hand, this added to my feeling of having made a journey with the crew, of having been through a lot together. In that way, the movie is set up very much like a game, with quests needing to be completed before moving on to other quests. If that sounds boring or tedious to you, then you might not like this movie. For someone like me, who really enjoys the adventure, it was noted, but didn’t take me out of the film.

Rounding out the negatives are the odd moments of character highlights that seem important but are then never seen or heard from again, and the little movie logic decisions (movie sins, I believe the kids call them) that bug nitpickers about every movie.

But all-in-all, I found this plot compelling, exciting, intriguing, and wonderfully nostalgic. This movie was made for Star Trek fans, through and through.

Cast

The highlight of the movie for me is, of course, the greatest bromance of all time: Spock and Kirk. The interactions between them and the other cast members was just brilliant, especially the relationship between Uhura and Spock, the roles of everyone on the ship, and the wonderful Urban’s spot-on interpretation of Bones.

The only actor I did not really enjoy played the main villain, Benedict Cumberbatch. I found his lines over-delivered and far too Shakesperean compared to the rest of the movie. Sometimes the camera would zoom in on his face and I would laugh, it was that bad.

Chris Pine as Kirk

Chris Pine as Kirk

Zachary Quinto as Spock

Zachary Quinto as Spock

Zoe Saldana as Uhura

Zoe Saldana as Uhura

Karl Urban as Bones

Karl Urban as Bones

Simon Pegg as Scotty

Simon Pegg as Scotty

John Cho as Sulu

John Cho as Sulu

StarTrekIntoDarknessJohnHarrison

Benedict Cumberbatch as John Harrison

Special Effects

The art direction and special effects were gorgeous, fluid, and epic. Everything was beautiful, and even the 3D was used in a way that made sense. No complaints here!

Music and Audio

Perfectly complimenting the visuals was the sound. Booming and precise, with hints of nostalgia. I enjoyed both the music and the sound direction.

Final Thoughts

Overall, the actors were great and the chemistry between characters was spot on. I loved all the little callbacks to the original series and movies, including little facial expressions, actual quotes, and even tableaus. Star Trek: Into Darkness perfectly captured the excitement I felt when watching the original series, and I can’t wait to watch this crew’s next adventure. I’ve been seeing that some mainstream news sources are saying the movie is disappointing… I’m wondering if they were too busy looking for flaws instead of enjoying the adventure.

By calanagear On 28 Jun, 2011 At 02:42 AM | Categorized As Featured, Interviews, Tales of Real Otaku | With 2 Comments

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There are many girl gamers in the world, but none are like the one and only AngelEena. A bibliophile, polymath, and major geek, she is a regular gem over at Destructoid, where she blogs on gaming and life.
I have had the privilege to call AngelEena my friend, ever since she found my games list on Amazon. Since then, she visited us in South Korea, along with her wonderful husband Jonathan. I pride myself on being a dork and mock techie, but in reality she surpasses me in every respect.

I decided to hit her up for an interview, as she has much to say about the gaming world.

 

CA: OK so when did you begin gaming, and what consoles/games were you into?

A: First game system I ever played was an Atari 2600 when I was 4. I have only vague memories of grabbing the joystick and making my own sound effects. When I was right about 5 my family got a Super NES for Christmas that came with The Legend of Zelda: A link to the past. My life changed forever. I would spend hours watching my brothers play. Memorizing dungeon puzzles. Playing it when they were asleep and getting them rupees. I had notebooks full of pictures of special items. Notes on where to find them.  I made my own interpretations of the 7 maidens. Ideas on why Ganon wanted a dark world.
On the weekends when I visited my cousin I got my first real exposures to Role Playing Games. Secret of Mana, Breath of Fire, Earthbound, Final Fantasy 3. He had them all. (Or rather his friend from up the road did lol) Hours of stories at my fingertips. New art styles. Wholly different worlds from what I was familiar with. It was astounding. Later on I went through another phase of PSone RPGs by myself where I really grew as a gamer. I’ve never looked back!

CA: You said in one interview on Destructoid how gaming provided you with so much during hard times, alternate worlds that were vivid and adventures that lifted you up. Can you expound on this?

A: Well. When you grow up like I did. It was really easy to lose hope. I was terribly poor. I was hungry. My body hurt all the time. My siblings were all older enough and could get away from the house. My parents had substance abuse problems and we lived in a very rural area. I had no one to talk to once my siblings got old enough. It got to the point that I could never see a future. When you’re a child and you have no hope. You believe that nothing gets better. Sometimes you even hope the sun doesn’t come up.

But when you can play a game where there’s a world in which fantastic things happen. And even children can go on adventures. They can help someone. You can save that world. Well, you don’t want to give up. Just on the off chance you could save someone else. Help another world. Help another person lost and stuck like yourself. Just the idea that you could be someone’s hero can make you want the sun to come up.

CA: Yes I agree completely. Now you are a designer. How has gaming affected your work?

A: Of course! Gaming pushes me to do better. To try the fantastic! To branch and grow. It’s not really that gaming effects my designs, but really my entire outlook. Gaming should inspire you. Like any adventure.

CA: so what games specifically inspire you?
A:  Well everyone has favorites. I would say Secret of Mana. Silent Hill. Final Fantasy 3/6. Suikoden 2. Mother 3. Definitely on the top.
Final Fantasy 8 has a special inspiration in my marriage. And the more current inspirations would be Enslaved and Nier.

CA: Why the love of survival horror? I think some gamers don’t understand the beauty of Silent Hill and Silent Hill games. What do you find inspiring about them?
A:  What isn’t? It’s about the human spirit distilled to its genuine core.  It’s about surviving. It’s what we’re all made to do, but never have to. It’s an amazing concept. It pulls you to your knees and makes you fight again. With Silent Hill the art direction, sound direction, and isolation increases that strong sense of loss.  Make you fight back harder even though the world seems bleaker.

CA: What are your favorite Soundtracks?
A: Hmmmmm. Final Fantasy 8. Legend of Mana. Silent Hill 3. Mother 3. Nier. Final Fantasy 7. Bioshock. I could go on and ON and ON.

CA: Moving on to other forms of geek… what are your favorite movies?

A: Oh. I like a ton. Camp to Serious and So on. Let’s see. Dr. Phibes Rises Again. Moon. Blackbeard’s Ghost. Super (2010), Event Horizon. The Descent. Yeah, I like a lot.

CA: I didn’t know you like horror movies Angel, you keep giving me more reasons to abduct you…
A:  No I love horror. I used to write a lot of reviews on 70s horror. From the super gory to the camp to the odd supernatural. 80’s horror and I disagree sometimes, but there’s some GREAT campy gems in there.

 

CA: Tell me about what music gets you off
A: Like music I love or music that literally gets me off?
CA:  both
A: Hah. Some of my favorite groups include David Bowie, Seawolf, Crystal Castles, Garbage, Daft Punk, Andrew Bird, The Beatsteaks. She Wants Revenge, Moby, The Postal Service, La Roux, Chromeo. I could go on and on once again.
As far as the latter is concerned, I put some bands in there that do.

CA: Talk Star Trek to me.
A: What do you want to know? I love it. I’m a blue shirt. Deep Space 9 is my favorite series. The Borg are my favorite bad guys. Andorians are my favorite race.
CA: I still haven’t seen any of them. I want to badly.

A:Well they’re big. The original series is fine if you go into it knowing it’s campy. Next Generation is where I would start if you haven’t seen it. Deep Space 9 is all about characters. It’s not for everyone, but it is by far my favorite. Voyager’s lost out in space against horrible odds. And has some awesomely campy characters. It’s my 2nd favorite.
People hate on Enterprise but I like it. It’s nice and essentially a modern update of the original. And there’s Andorians and Jeffrey Combs is one of them and that makes it all worth it.

 

CA: where would you like to be in ten years, and doing what?
A: In ten years. Hmmm I’ll be 33. And but of course. I’d really like to be working on my own ideas. I’d love to be publishing my own comics. And working on my own latex designs. See I”m a body painter at heart. But body paint doesn’t last. But with latex. I can take that second skin that latex makes. Applique my designs onto it and have a painting last forever.

Check out AngelEena’s blog to get to know her better, or follow her on twitter.

 

 

By otakuman5000 On 12 Mar, 2011 At 12:36 AM | Categorized As Conventions, Interviews | With 0 Comments

No GravatarHere are the interviews with various celebrities from Movies, TV, and the Comics World over at the Wizard World Miami Comic Con. Be sure to check all of them out.

 

The Ernire Hudson Interview– From Ghostbusters, Congo, OZ, and The Crow

 

The Denise Crosby Interview– From Star Trek The Next Generation, Key West

 

The Torrie Wilson Interview– From WWE Wrestling, Playboy

 

The Aaron Douglas Interview– From Battlestar Galactica

 

The Bodie Olmos Interview– From Battlestar Galactica

 

The Clare Kramer Interview– From Buffy The Vampire Slayer

 

The Defuser Interview– From Who Wants to Be a Super Hero

 

The Greg Horn Interview– Popular Comic Artist

 

The Jim Sterlin Interview– Legendary Comic Artist

 

More footage can be found here on the site as well as on our Youtube page.

 

Be sure to check out all of our footage from the convention, including panels, the showroom floor and more here on Real Otaku Gamer.com.

 

 

By otakuman5000 On 9 Mar, 2011 At 08:41 PM | Categorized As Conventions | With 0 Comments

No GravatarHere is footage from the Wizard World Miami Comic Con. These are excerpts from a few of the various panels and shows that were featured during the event. Below includes some popular ones such as Ray Park and Ernie Hudson.

 

 

By otakuman5000 On 6 Mar, 2011 At 04:50 PM | Categorized As Comics/Manga, Conventions, Editorials, Featured, Interviews, Uncategorized | With 0 Comments

No GravatarHere is a compilation of some of the many things that went on at Miami Comic Con.At the convention, we got to see all the cool panels, the stars, the artist, and most importantly, the fans. This was the first year that Wizard World had brought their comic convention to the sunny place we call Miami, and it was a huge success. But don’t take my world for it. Check out the amazing videos.

 

 

 

 

 

Be sure to check out some of our celebrity interviews from the showroom floor. Lots of great coverage for all to see. You will love it!